I had always been a very athletic guy growing up and being in the gym was a big part of my life. I certainly gave my all in everything I did to be the best I could be, mind and body. I had a good fitness regimen but my priorities grew as I got older – I married Anna at 30 and I had my two sons Luca and Daniel by 35. It was tough to keep up my routine and I fluctuated in weight a little: about 5 to 10 pounds through my 30s, but I always kept active with competitive ball hockey and soccer, along with playing with my boys. At the age of 40 the unthinkable happened while playing soccer in a men’s competitive league. I was tackled so hard that it tore my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Twenty-five years of athletics and hard competition and never any serious injury, and now this. Before I hit the ground from the tackle I knew my life was going to change and it did.
While I waited for my MRI appointment I felt sorry for myself and became a couch potato who smoked and ate with no positive thinking towards myself or my family. You would think this was the setback but it wasn’t. After the MRI and doctor consultations I decided to forgo the knee surgery and opted to have fitness therapy done with Kris Simpson and Bodies By Design. I joined weighing 215 pounds (my weight before the injury was 190). I started with three personal training sessions a week for two months and then reduced it to twice a week for another three months. The trainers were fantastic and I worked hard each session. Before BBD I had no real nutrition plan in place. Thinking about it now, I never really paid attention to my diet all those years. While training at BBD I dropped my weight to 200 pounds. Once my knee felt better and my sessions were finished I decided I was done and stepped away from the gym. I still had a membership for another year, but I never went in.
I carried on with life with no fitness plan, eating and drinking poorly and smoking, not realizing how quickly my body and mind were changing back to an unhealthy state. I became a certified soccer coach as my boys were heavily involved in the sport at a competitive level, and at the same time my wife and I were pleasantly surprised to find out we were expecting another child. Even though I knew life was going to change again with a newborn on the way, plus dealing with the hustle and bustle of everyday school and recreation programs for the boys, I anticipated the stress on my mind and body, yet I still didn’t change my habits. Time passed and I soon found myself holding my third son Adriano. One night while trying to put him to sleep I had a moment of realization. I recall being extremely tired, the clothes I was wearing were baggier and my body was bigger. My mind was growing more tired each day. I couldn’t even demonstrate soccer drills to the team I coach for fear of panting afterwards. Yet I still did not change. One day my oldest son Luca came home with a hand-drawn diagram of a lung and the areas cigarette smoke affect it. It was an eye opener. Luca said, “Daddy, smoking isn’t good for you and everyone else, even the baby.” He paused then said, “Especially when you’re not in shape” as he put his hand on my belly. My son Daniel added, “Ya daddy, we don’t want you to die.” IT WAS A WAKEUP CALL.
The next day I called Kris at BBD. It was a little embarrassing to even tell him a bit of my story because we go back many years and I respect his work ethic with life and fitness and the teachings he had passed on to me over the years. He was happy to hear from me and was completely on board to help me help myself with his new Guaranteed Results & Improvements Program (GRIP). I was introduced to a few great trainers: Mat “the man with the golden hair,” Alex “white men can’t jump,” and Santos “if you’re not Italian you’re nothing.” Getting back into the regimen was difficult the first couple of weeks. I thought, “I got this, I’ve done it before, piece of cake.” Not even close. I had no stamina, little strength and my mind and body fatigued, all because I had ignored the most important part of living life – HEALTH. The trainers reminded me each session how important it was to put in the work for a better body and healthy mind and they taught me a lot about proper exercise form and nutrition. The sessions were great and changed all the time. My commitment to this was real, and I always came to the gym on days I didn’t have a session to do my own workout, implementing exercises I learned from the trainers. I was also dedicated to my new way of eating, counting my calories and making notes of everything I ate. I was taught and reminded each session how measuring my food intake is a huge deciding factor on my overall results.
My life at 43 has improved significantly and will continue to do so during my time at BBD. I’ve been cigarette-free for one year and have no plans to ever smoke again. BBD has renewed my thoughts on how to live a better life because I’ve experienced improvements in everything I’ve been doing since I joined. Thank you Alex, who was my trainer during most of my journey. He brought youth and excitement to each session and was a driving force for me. Thanks also to Abe, who made me mentally understand what my body and life should be like going forward, and Mat, Santos and all the BBD morning crew. You are all great!
BBD Client Star Profile Candidate